'Community' Top Producers Exit for 20th TV Deal

Neil Goldman, left, and Garrett Donovan

UPDATED: After six years at NBC/Universal, Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan have landed a two-year overall deal with 20th TV.

Community executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan have inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

As part of the two-year pact, Goldman and Donovan will develop and supervise new projects for the studio. In doing so, the duo will relinquish control of the Sony-produced NBC comedy, with which they’ve been involved as writer-producers with many of the series' day-to-day showrunner responsibilities for the show’s three seasons. (If it’s picked up for a fourth, one source suggests that creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, producer Chris McKenna or someone new would run the show.)

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“We’ve had our eye on them for a long time,” 20th Century Fox TV chairman Dana Walden tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that Goldman and Donovan are not only “incredibly funny” but also “incredibly beloved."

In this particular case, Walden credits the passion of 20th TV’s comedy head Johnny Davis for making the deal happen, acknowledging that he came to her and her partner Gary Newman several times throughout the development process to suggest the pair was ready to branch out and urge 20th to set a meeting.

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“Gary and I had to support this deal at a certain point just to have Johnny stop talking about them,” Walden jokes. “When you have a creative executive that has that kind of passion for two writers, it’s impossible for that sentiment not to become contagious.”

The Emmy-nominated Goldman and Donovan, who started as staff writers on Fox’s Family Guy before jumping to ABC’s long-running Scrubs, have spent the past six years under overall deals at NBC/Universal. Looking ahead, the writing partners likely will jump to one of 20th’s pilots in a matter of weeks, while simultaneously developing their own vision.

Goldman and Donovan are represented by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham.

Email: Lacey.Rose@thr.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose